Burwell wins the last of two battles versus Shea to claim JPNEWT event title

Kia Burwell and Linda Haywood Shea

They sit atop the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour standings; tour director Linda Shea and Kia Burwell. They both overtook the tour’s first-half leader, Caroline Pao, at a stop in Elkridge, MD on the weekend of August 15-16, when Burwell went undefeated for a second time on the 2021 tour to claim the title and Shea finished as runner-up. As they did last month, they battled twice on the tour’s 8th stop this past weekend (Saturday, Sept. 25), and finished, for the second time in a row, as winner and runner-up. The event drew 10 entrants to First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA.

In the previous meeting, Burwell downed Shea in a winners’ side semifinal and defeated her a second time in the finals. This past weekend, they split their two matches, with Burwell coming back from the semifinals to claim the title.

Burwell was awarded an opening round bye and was immediately threatened in her first match by Ada Lio, who forced a 13th and deciding game. Burwell prevailed to face Judie Wilson in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Shea, in the meantime, also awarded an opening round bye, had an easier first match, shutting Kankan Yu out to draw Nicole Christ in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Burwell got into the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Wilson. Shea shut out Christ to enter the hot seat match, having yet to give up a single rack. Shea claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Burwell and waited on her return.

On the loss side, Wilson picked up Melissa Jenkins, who’d lost to Christ on the winners’ side and defeated Kankan Yu 7-5 to reach her. Christ drew Terri Stovall, who’d lost to Wilson, then shut out Calaia Jackson and defeated Ada Lio 7-2. 

Wilson advanced to the quarterfinals on the heels of a 7-5 win over Jenkins. Terri Stovall earned her rematch versus Wilson with a 7-4 win over Christ. Given that the subsequent quarterfinals would determine who would advance to the event’s first money round in the semifinals, it was no surprise that Wilson and Stovall battled to double hill. Wilson was up 5-2 when Stovall made a 3-9 carom to draw within two. Wilson responded to make it 6-3, before Stovall dropped a second, early 9-ball combination to draw within two again. Stovall won another to make it 6-5 and a scratch by Wilson in rack #12 allowed Stovall to tie it up at six games apiece. A safety battle in the final rack was broken to give Wilson a three-ball out, and though she dropped the 7-ball, she missed her shot at the 8-ball and Stovall finished it. 

Burwell downed Stovall 7-3 in the semifinals to earn her rematch against Shea. She completed her second straight win on the tour, her third overall, with a 9-6 win in the finals.

Tour director Shea thanked the ownership and staff at First Break Sports Bar, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Bitzel and Associates PTPA Physical Therapy, stream commentator George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor) AZBilliards and, for the live stream of matches, Britanya E Rapp (angle aim Art). The next stop on the JPNEWT (#9), scheduled for October 9-10, will be hosted by Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA.